Nothing works without energy. We need energy in order to meet our mobility demands, to keep it warm and bright, to prepare food and beverages, to render services and to manufacture products. 

The amount of energy we use for different purposes depends on the intelligence and efficiency of the use of energy. Furthermore, it depends on the existing infrastructure, the market conditions and the political-administrative framework. In addition, demands concerning the care economy and requirements regarding flexibilisation have an impact on the energy we use.

Thermal insulation
There is great potential for energy savings, especially in the building sector, such as in the thermal insulation of an attic.

Energy savings resp. an increase in energy efficiency can be achieved at different sections of the supply and demand chain:


  • On the energy demand side: by intelligent use of energy without reducing the level of energy or mobility comfort (energy savings by increased energy end-use efficiency) or by substituting an energy carrier by one that uses less primary energy (energy savings by substitution). Furthermore, energy can also be saved if we need or demand a lower level or a different kind of comfort, which is energy sufficiency, often in combination with energy efficiency. The analysis of policies regarding energy efficiency and sufficiency on the demand side is one of the key activities of the Division Energy, Transport and Climate Policy.
  • In energy supply: renewables, combined heat (cold) and power production, efficient power plants. These are topics that mainly the Division Future Energy and Industry Systems deals with.
  • In energy transmission and distribution: for example, by using energy-efficient transformers, reducing or – in heat grids – insulating lines, and by system optimisation.

In all these areas, there are major potentials for innovation and market opportunities. Realisation can be fostered by adequate policies and measures. The Wuppertal Institute researches and advises governments scientifically especially in the field of energy efficiency on the demand side. This is the case in EU projects like "ENSMOV", which offers support in implementation of the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive to the member states’ governments. In the EU project "COMBI", a consortium of institutes under the direction of the Wuppertal Institute compiled a comprehensive data base on the many benefits of energy efficiency. The follow-up project “MICAT” now develops the methods further for practical application in the evaluation of policies and measures.

Other projects focus on the analysis of policy packages and instruments for energy efficiency in buildings and appliances.



Here you find research activities in the field of energy efficiency.

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